Friday, May 30, 2014

I paid attention

Greg, of Night Owl Cards blog fame, lamented the other day:
The conspiracy was so large back at the beginning stages of Tribe Cards From Outer Space that I didn't even have time to select correctly when the game was starting. I was supposed to pick the players whose cards would go automatically to me. In my case, that would be Dodgers.

But somehow, I missed the window for picking my players. Or I misread the directions. Whatever. Life saw to it that I'd be behind the entire bleeping contest that lasted the entire bleeping season.

When I realized my lapse, I scrambled to recover and choose whatever Dodgers were left.
His missing the window gave me an opportunity to dive right in. I selected a few Dodgers, perhaps thinking that they'd be trade bait some day. Sure, I enjoy a good Dodger, and I got two of them. Here are the cards that David sent me.

Whenever I see Duke Snider in this pose, or Babe Ruth all wound up, I think that I could go to the plate and just push them over.  Feet apart, boys.
2013 Gypsy Queen
Duke Snider (card # 180)
David thought it best to send over about 57 cards of the 1984 Donruss Duke Snider puzzle.  Er, thanks, David.

I would like to have seen Sandy pitch.  I would like to have see the Dodgers manage him a bit better.
2013 Topps
Chasing History insert
Sandy Koufax (card # CH-50)

2013 Topps Allen & Ginter
Sandy Koufax (card # 10)

Moving away from the Dodgers, I selected R.A. Dickey.  Before he was with the Blue Jay and the Mets he was a UT Volunteer.
2012 Bowman
R.A. Dickey (card # 160)

2013 Topps
R.A. Dickey (card # 151)

2013 Topps Allen & Ginter
R.A. Dickey (card # 151)

2013 Gypsy Queen
R.A. Dickey (card # 28)

I guess I also selected some form of presidential / patriotic thing as well.  Side note, Rutherford B. Hayes and I are related.  A bit twisty, but one of my mom's kin married into the Hayes family.  It is not a direct line, but good enough for me.

2008 Topps
Historical Campaign Matchups
Campaign '76 Hayes (card # HCM-1876)

I so want Charles Cotesworth Pinckney to have played ball.  I'd loved to seen him in a uniform.  I think he would have been a catcher.
2006 Topps
United States Constitution
Charles Cotesworthy Pinckney (card # SC-CCP)

So, that's part one of the Tribe Cards from Outer Space haul.  More later.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thoughtful Sox

A few weeks back I had posted about some of the 1971 Topps cards.  Adam, from the Thoughts & Sox blog, said that he had some to send my way.  Send them he did.

I'm only going to show the cards from the first series.  That will save my scanner's gears.  He sent along another 18 cards.

When I see Jim Colborn's name I think of Jame Coburn, especially in The Great Escape.  I know, they're two different guys.
1971 Topps
Jim Colburn (card # 38)

"Do you want to touch my Menke?  Oh, Monkey.  Never mind."
1971 Topps
Denis Menke (card # 130)

Thanks, Adam.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

I originally posted this on one of my other blogs six years ago.  I have been racking my brain throughout the day trying to find the right hook with baseball and Memorial Day.  Some card or game or player bio.  Then I realized that today isn't about gimmicks.  It is about remembering those who sacrificed.  I thank them, and all that served.

This is Memorial Day weekend in the US. This holiday is supposed to commemorate U.S. men and women who have died in military service to their country. Here's a one of them. Orville Nicholas Hodlin is my grand-uncle who died during World War II.

Private, U.S. Army
Serial Number: 42091929
23rd Infantry Battalion, 7th Armored Division
Died: October 19, 1944, Holland
Buried at: Plot D Row 1 Grave 23
Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery
Henri-Chapelle, Belgium

info from: The American Battle Monuments Commission

Here is his obituary...

Pvt. Hodlin Killed In Action In Holland
  Pvt. Orville N. Hodlin, 27, formerly of Champlain, was killed in action in Holland on October 19th, according to a telegram received by his wife last week from the War Department. Other details have not yet been made available. Pvt. Hodlin was born in Worcester, Mass. and is a son of Margaret Hodlin (now Mrs. John Dragoon), of Plattsburg, and the late Orville D. Hodlin. Mrs. Edison Aubrey, of Champlain, is a sister.
  Pvt. Hodlin was inducted into the service on Jan 25, 1944, and received his basic training at Camp Blanding, Fla. He went overseas to England with his unit late in July and was sent to France later seeing action with the American forces invading Holland. He had seen action in France, Belgium and Holland.
  Pvt. Hodlin attended school at Champlain and Ellenburg, and later was a member of the Civilian Conservation Corp. Surviving besides his wife and mother are three daughters: Catherine, 8, Barbara, 4, and Linda, who is six months old.

The North Countryman
Rouses Point, New York
16 November 1944

Friday, May 23, 2014

Steve Searcy

Steve Searcy is from Knoxville.  He attended the University of Tennessee, playing baseball there.  He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1985 and started with the Bristol Tigers of the Appy League that same year.

He climbed up the minors, going through Birmingham, Glens Falls, Toledo and then finally making the big leagues in August of 1988.
1989 Score
Steve Searcy (card # 627)

1989 Fleer
Steve Searcy (card # 415)

1990 CMC ProCard Triple A
Steve Searcy (card # 387)

1990 Topps
Steve Searcy (card # 487)

1991 Topps Stadium Club
Steve Searcy (card # 352)
In July of 1991 he was granted free agency and then picked up by the Phillies.   It was with Philadelphia that he got his first winning season (2-1).

1992 O-Pee-Chee
Steve Searcy (card # 599)
In July of 1992 he was traded to the Dodgers where he stayed in AAA.  Later that year he was granted free agency and then picked up by Baltimore.  He finished up his professional baseball career with the AAA Rochester Red Wings.

He currently resides in the Knoxville area and teaches pitching.  Steve will be the featured speaker at the East Tennessee SABR meeting on Saturday.  I'm going to ask him to sign a few cards.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Uncommon Experience at

About a week and a half ago I placed an order with  It turns out that their customer service is well above their name.  One mistake in the order and two preemptive corrections.  Works out just fine for me.

I'm trying to complete Series One of the 1971 Topps set without breaking the bank.  Condition be darned.  Several bloggers (and a reader), a few OBC members, Listia, and my local card shop have helped me get closer to my goal*.  I can add Just Commons to that list.

I ordered 38 1971 Topps cards, condition ranging from GD to EX.  Prices ranged from 20¢ to 75¢, with the average price being 35¢ each.

Can you spot the mistake?
1971 Topps
Jose Laboy (card # 132)

No, of course you can't.  I ordered up card #32 (Jerry DaVanon).  They sent card #132 (Jose Laboy).  The Laboy card is so off center, top to bottom, that it cropped the 1 out of the 132.  They had it misfiled.  Honest mistake.  I needed the Laboy, so no harm, no foul.

Now let's look at their preemptive corrections.  I received the following email from them:
Shipped out your order but sorry as two cards were in worse condition then stated. Cards #97 and #126 should have been in Poor condition instead of Good.  Refunded the .40 for them but sent them with package in case you wanted them.
Rest were good.
Let's look at the cards in question.
1971 Topps
Floyd Wicker (card # 97)

The lower right corners are gone.  I would agree that they are in Poor condition.  But it doesn't matter to me.  I appreciated them letting me know and the refund.  With the refund in place that drops the average price per card to 34¢.  The cards arrived quickly and in good packaging.
1971 Topps
Danny Coombs (card # 126)

I'm good with those.

If you want a excellent pricing and great customer service, visit and place an order.  Free shipping on orders over $10.

* By my count I've got 61 of the 132 cards in Series One.  Halfway there.  Here's my 1971 Topps checklist.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Louisville Slugger Tags

If you're an observant reader of this blog you'll notice that I'm reusing some of the images from yesterday's post.  Thanks to Greg Z I finally added one of the cards I've wanted for a while.  It has always bugged me that I've seen various dates for these cards.  1982-1989.  I understand that they aren't really cards, but a bit of merchandising.  A tag that hangs off the glove, until little Jimmy rips it off so he can go pitch like the Bulldog.
1986 Louisville Slugger Tag
Orel Hershiser

I've decided to identify this as a 1986 card.  Why?  Because the stats on the back refer to Orel's 1985 season.  Now, how do I add that into Zistle?  I don't know yet.  Please note the error on the back of the card.  The printer left the "y" off of the end of Bradsby.  This must be uber-rare.

COMC has two Louisville Slugger cards listed.  The dates are 1980-89.  That doesn't help much.

Ah, ebay, the information well that is only trumped by wikipedia.  Off I go.

A few sellers are offering up this item.  One of them is kind enough to show the back.

1989 Louisville Slugger Tag
Orel Hershiser

This shows info from the 1988 season.  I'd call this a 1989 issue.

TeamSets4U has the date range listed as 1981-1993.  Here's how they listed the Dodgers in this set:

1981-1993 Louisville Slugger - DODGERS
  • Steve Garvey '81
  • Pedro Guerrero '82
  • Orel Hershiser '86
  • Orel Hershiser '88
  • Orel Hershiser '89
  • Orel Hershiser '90
  • Eric Davis '93

So, like some heck-bent maniac, I want to see the other Hershiser backs.

Show 'em if you got 'em.

UPDATE: Greg, of Night Owl Cards fame, sent this scan of the 1990 back.  Thanks, Greg.

1990 Louisville Slugger Tag
Orel Hershiser

Now, just one more to go.  Looking for lucky '88.

Friday, May 16, 2014

A one sided Argyle trade

Many weeks ago I was flipping through the webosphere and read Greg Z's Plaschke Thy Sweater is Argyle blog.  I've read enough of his fine blog to know that although he appreciates Dodgers he's very tuned in to Kemp, Martin, et al.  He shows more hits in a week than I get in a year.  And good for him.

He was showing of some cards that he had received in a trade.  Right there on his blog was a picture of one of my Elusive Eight.  A Louisville Slugger tag/card of Orel Hershiser.

1986 Louisville Slugger Tag
Orel Hershiser

I figured that I'd be bold and ask for it in trade.  I found a few recent A&G cards that were on his wantlist and I bugged him about it.  He sent me the tag/card and more.  Didn't want anything in return.  I'll have to rectify that some day.

The more?  Dodgers pitcher don sutton.  Or Don Sutton if you're not living in 1971 Toppsville.

1971 Topps
Don Sutton (card # 361)

Wait, there's more.  Also tumbling out of the package was this golden Box of Mystery.  

This receptacle of card goodness has been quietly making its way around to various bloggers.  What it holds is almost too much for mere mortals.  I can't begin to describe what I found inside.  So I won't.  I'll be adding some leftovers quality items and sending it on its way soon enough.

Thanks, Greg, for your generosity.  Now I have to update my Elusive Eight.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Will the real Johnny Cueto please sign in?

The Red's ace, Johnny Cueto, threw a complete game shutout today.  I know that most everyone has seen his different autographs.  If you haven't, I'll show you again.

2008 Topps Stadium Club - auto
Johnny Cueto (card # 158)

UPDATEDime Box Nick shared this classic Cueto scrawl...
2009 Bowman
Johnny Cueto (card # 112)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Got Skulker Skills?

Yesterday was my wife's birthday.  To celebrate I'm going to show a Jeff Burton auto card that I won on Listia.

1997 Race Sharks
Shark Tooth Signature
Jeff Burton (card # ST9) (#'d/800)

The corner is a bit chipped.  And the copy on the back is horrid.
NASCAR is never the seas of tranquility and the search for food is never easy.  Especially for a young shark, like Jeff Burton, who's trying to grow big enough so that one day he can hunt those who once hunted him.  Burton sharpened his skulker skills in 1996 to a point.  A taste of victory will not elude him much longer.
What?  Skulker skills?  I want to learn those.  The copy is true.  Burton got his first NASCAR win in 1997 at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Skulker skills?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Yeah, these are recycled images from a post long since forgotten.

1992 Mother's Cookies Dodgers
Orel Hershiser (card #6)

Happy Mother's Day, mom.

 Don't forget to enter Brian's contest over at Play At The Plate to help him celebrate a boatload of posts.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

State of the blog and stuff

So, I came out of the gate at the start of the year like I was riding California Chrome or something.  Well, at least for me.  I really picked it up in March.  I slacked off in April.  Although I posted only 11 times, they weren't really so much about cards, but about the things I was doing.  Sure, card or baseball related, but not focused on cards.  I'm okay with that.

April was a busy month.  My folks came in for a visit, as did my brother and his wife.  We celebrated Caroline's birthday.  We celebrated Easter.  We were busy.  And I haven't yet told you about the meeting I attended with two former members of the 1953 Maryville-Alcoa Twins.  Or the time spent poring over the personal scrapbook of a Major League catcher.  "Who?", you ask.  (Hint: I've been recently looking at his pictures over at Old Knoxville Baseball)

I've gotten a mystery package that I need to show.  And the payout from the Tribe Cards from Outer Space palooza just landed in my mailbox.

Another generous blogger helped me knock off some more of my 1971 Topps wants. I've now collected about 19% of Series One for the 1971 Topps set.  Cards to be shown later.

I picked this up from Listia a bit ago.  I don't remember the details of when or how much and I'm too much of a slacker right now to go hunt down that info.
1971 Topps
Bill Melton (card # 80)

From my first Zistle trade...
1992-93 Topps Stadium Club
Kevin McHale (card # 147)

I gave up a Gary Carter and an Orel Hershiser for this nice bit of Celtic pride.

And since the Throw Back Thursday hashtag seems to be running rampant, let's look back almost four years ago when I created this...

The card.  Not Ryan Zimmerman.  Dorks.

The "State of the blog"?  Doing well.  Thanks.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

What if...?

What if I took 20 sports cards and treated them like I might have when I was in elementary school for the summer?

What if I put a rubber band around them?

What if I carried them in my pocket and took them everywhere I went?

What if I pulled them out at lunch to show my friends, never bothering to wipe the Cheetos dust from my fingers?

What if I put them under my pillow?

What if...?

Interesting idea.  So I'll try it.  I selected 20 cards at (mostly) random from my stacks.  Early 90s up to modern.  Glossy and flat.  White border and color to the edge.  Semi stars and journeymen.

Currently they are all in great condition.  Pulled from packs.  No obvious dings or creases.  Good, clean cards.  I'm not going to intentionally abuse them, I'm just curious to see what happens.

I'll show them again later this year.  Now to find a rubber band in the junk drawer.